Are we delivering a clear message about who we are? Are we concerned with the details that represent us? Each one of us create products (tangible or not) for society. Now more than ever we need to be aware of our product and ensure it represents your brand, as a person.
I currently have two products I am providing society right now; education and mazes...different yet very aligned to who I am and what I want to give. My Goal: Create a personalized maze and education for all. I believe my hand drawn mazes and philosophy towards teaching are closely related. Each one displays creativity and showcases individual personalities/passions. Going from start to finish represents the journey of life-long learning, in the end both are a piece of art you should be able to reflect upon with pride.
Lesson #1: Deliver Clarity
As I reflect upon the first few years of teaching and first few months of my maze business I see similarities that will direct my future. Yes, the metaphors are endless. As I strive to fine tune my pedogogical methods, I find myself sharpening my clarity in delivery - communication to and FROM students. This is a vital piece in the success of my mazes so far as well - understanding the customer and delivering a concise and clear message.
Lesson #2: Branding Success with every detail
As I have created new products based off mazes I have become deliberate about the quality of each product, each frame, each postage label. Why? Your brand is vitally important, customers can be anyone and what they perceive makes or breaks your success. This is right in line with education as well. The product you deliver as an educator is especially critical - every activity, every problem, every word, every poster hung, every rule, every expectation, every facial expression delivers your product. Would customers purchase your teaching? One faulty message and your customer (student) will make or break their success by altering their respect of you, your integrity and their desire to learn from you.
Your product is yourself, who you are as a productive citizen. Are you what you want to be in every aspect of your life? Are you delivering a consistently clear message to your family, friends, co-workers about who you are and want you give? Will people buy what you are offering as a person?
I'm calling you out....parents that allow their students to come to school hungover from a birthday celebration or high. This does multiple things to lower expectations for that child, tears down their self-esteem even more. (because it has to be low already to take part in such activity) But now even more because they feel you don't care about them enough to set limits and not allow inappropriate behavior for their age as well as you the parent not giving them a proper celebration they deserve so they have to create one for themselves to feel worthy (falsely) with their peers.
I'm calling you out...teachers whom do set high expectations of their students and follow through with continuous structured support AND discipline to allow your students to rise to those expectations. Your expectations are so clear that even when you are not there they continue to strive towards them. They make the most of every class, even with a substitute, not using that as an excuse to "take a break." Your high expectations and belief in your students has far reaching abilities, more than you think - thank you.
I'm calling you out....fast food nation whom continue to increase the sizes of our meals. It wasn't too long ago that a small was actually small and an extra-large was indeed a little extra. Nowadays a small is the former extra large and the extra large is a case of enriched french fries and a 2 liter of sugar soda. It is you that enables our society to become addicted to your unhealthy goods. Yes we ultimately choose to order your obesified food but an old size fry doesn't allow us to become addicted at the immediate rate that a larger portion does...and you know that.
I'm calling you out...Mother Nature - enough is enough. I love the weather more than anybody and the extreme storms get my adrenaline going faster than the storm itself. But, please give us a break - record tornadoes, floods, October snows, Hurricanes where Hurricanes don't belong, droughts, dust storms, insane windstorms, should I go on? Allow us to breath, recover, rebuild. Thank you.